Title: The Young Elites & The Rose Society
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: 2014 & 2015
Retail Price: $16.00
Overall Rating: 8 /10
Genre: Dystopian, Dark, Adventure, Fantasy
“Be true to yourself. But that’s something everyone says and no one means. No one wants you to be yourself. They want you to be the version of yourself that they like.”
– Marie Lu, The Young Elites
After, my major book-hangover of Marie Lu’s debut series, Legend Trilogy, I knew that I had to read The Young Elites. However, when the release did come, it slipped out of my reach and I never ended up reading it. I picked it up straightaway when I saw it on display at my local library, I dived straight into it! I was hooked til the end, I think I can crown this one of my top five favourite reads this year! (Well, it’s only February- oh well!) There is just something so magically unique that is woven in to her storyline that kept me intrigued. Have you ever read a book so dark and so well-written that you just have to stop and step back to say that this feels too real? This is exactly what happened to me on multiple occasion whilst reading this. In my opinion, this could be one of the darkest fantasy series I have ever read. I highly recommend it, if you haven’t checked it out because trust me, it won’t disappoint your tingle for a fantasy.
The Young Elites and Rose Society, follows the story of Adelina Amouteru who has been hit with the plague at a young age. However, that is not the only horrifying time of her life- her father treats her inhumanely and her sister is always doted by her father. Adelina, is forced to please her father but then she discovers that her plague has cause something deep inside her. After being called a malfetto are her life because of her plague which has scarred her both physically and mentally, Adelina figures our that she has a super power due to the plague but unlike other malfettos her super-ability is much darker and more powerful.
Spoiler Review!- Spoilers For The Young Elites and The Rose Society Ahead!
Do you ever just read something- a line, a quote or a paragraph; in a book that makes you have this great epiphany and relisation that makes you go- What just happened? I absolutely had such a joy reading this book! I loved so many different elements in the story which all were interlocked together to create this great read!
When I first jumped into the novel, I was captivated by Adelina’s story, which very much reminded me of Cinderella. She has such a devastating child-hood that it made me understand every thought she had. What I loved about this book are the unique characters- never have I ever read a character quite like Adelina. It was backward (in a good way), Adelina’s character development turned from what was a somewhat positively characterisation to a negative, power-thirsty character. Every thought she had was so carefully thought out by Marie Lu and each line and thought in her perspective was dripping with a slight darkness. I love how complex her character is, as a reader it was hard for me to descern whether she was a protagonist or an antagonist, that it was blowing my mind. She has both the ying and the yang in her personality that is hard to find in other characters from other novels I’ve read.
In the Young Elites, I was trying my hardest to click with her character but at times she would annoy me. For example, when she was desparate to be a part of the Young Elites, I was cringing (There is nothing more I hate than cringing). Until I disocovered by the second book, The Rose Society, that the reader, rather than relating to the character, is influenced to see her character from a witness’ point of view. Marie Lu’s writing is honestly too good, the fact that she portrayed Adelina’s character through such a manipulative light, was so different. I never would have related to Adelina in any way, whatsoever yet, I felt like I was in her shoes. Her dark personality felt so realistic. At the end of the book, you can clearly see her character development, when she casts out her sister. I was literally stunned- it felt so much like I was her and that to me felt like magic.
Teren, is the antagonist in the first novel but to be honest, I don’t think his character was developed as well. I mean yeah we got to discover his hatred for the malfettos, as well as discovering his deep passion for the queen. However, his character was very shallow- how could you possibly love the queen like a blood-thirsty fan? It wasn’t really making much sense in my brain. Notonly that but his personality differed so much from when he was talking to Adelina vs. talking to the queen. You can clearly see this in the ending scenes of The Rose Society when Adelina changed from herself to the queen and Teren instantly changed from a soldier to a lost puppy. Enzo, was a bit like Teren’s it wasn’t developed as well but I think we’ll see more of his character and personality in the next book. A lot of his life history and backstory was very mysterious and he was portrayed a bit more stereotypically, he was a dark character, who was the ringmaster of the group. Oh and of course, Adelina falls in love with him (#predictable) but I hope to discover more about him in the next book.
Now, onto the captivating storyline. I loved the plot line in the first book- there were so many different elements. Adelina was taken in by this new society and through it she developed her power. I loved the fact that, Marie Lu threw in this other problem that caused Adelina to be twisted and pulled. I love how she had to bargain with her sister with Teren. I was constantly reading and page-turning to find out what happends to her in the end. What surprised me was- I thought this would be a predictable book but the ending just surprised me. I couldn’t believe that everyone casted her out and Enzo DIES!! I couldn’t belive that Raffaelle was actually a backstaber to Adelina because I honestly didn’t notive since the start. I was definitely not expecting that and I wasn’t really expecting Adelina to turn so cruel and heartless in the second book. There are so many parts in this book that I thought I would predict correctly but then it turns out I was wrong. That is why I had such a fun time reading this book!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I’m highly anticipating the next book! The characters are just sooo unique and the storyline blew me away!